Keep your holiday visitors happy. Get tickets now to some shows a little north of Vero Beach that are designed to ratchet up cheery moods. There are so many holiday shows offered up this year, there will certainly be something for everyone.
Theater magic and colorful costumes first await you farthest north at the Titusville Playhouse, and a little farther south, at the Cocoa Village Playhouse. In Melbourne there are Christmas favorites at the Henegar, the Melbourne Civic Theatre and the King Center, which also features a beloved ballet classic.
The roster of feel-good holiday fun begins Friday Nov. 22 when “Elf, the Musical” makes its Brevard community theater debut at Titusville Playhouse.
This is the musical version of the 2003 Will Ferrell movie. It has been adapted for the stage in 2010 and has scads of new music; including “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” which is a big, jolly number performed while Macy’s is being decorated.
It follows Buddy, a human raised as an elf by Santa Claus, who ventures to New York City one holiday season to find his birth father.
But he is as out of place in the Big Apple as he was at the North Pole.
“The show is such whimsical fun,” said production manager Niko Stamos. “It’s very funny and has the same energy as the movie but it’s fleshed out better because of the musical form.”
The show has all the characteristics of a so-called “instant classic” because the story is already so well known by the young audiences.
Directed by Steven Heron, colorful visuals are a big part of the production, which will be seen in Joseph Lark Riley’s scenic design and the large assortment of professionally constructed Santa Claus, elf and Macy’s costumes which Titusville Playhouse purchased from the Paramount Theater in Chicago.
“Elf” performs Nov. 22 to Dec. 22 at Titusville Playhouse, 301 Julia St., Titusville. Tickets are $25 to $34, with discounts available for students, military and seniors. Call 321-268-1125 or visit TitusvillePlayhouse.com.
“White Christmas” will enjoy a revival at Cocoa Village Playhouse where it too opens Friday Nov. 22.
While “Elf” has that new car smell, “White Christmas” is based on the 1954 Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney movie with music by Irving Berlin. It took nearly half a century for writers to bring it to the stage.
The storyline concerns some show people who put on a show in order to save a quaint Vermont inn. That means snow, song and dance.
“White Christmas” performs Nov. 22 to Dec. 8 at Cocoa Village Playhouse, 300 Brevard Ave., Cocoa. Tickets are $18 to $26. Call 321-636-5050 or visit CocoaVillagePlayhouse.com.
“It’s A Wonderful Life” also will have a revival at the Henegar in Melbourne.
“This is a completely different version, with different writers and different book,” said Stamos, who co-directs the show with Heron. “It’s pretty much the movie script.”
The plot, based on the 1946 James Stewart movie, revolves around good-guy banker George Bailey, who suffers a financial blow and thinks that the world would be better off without him. He gets heavenly help from an angel named Clarence.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” performs Dec. 6 to 22 at the Henegar Center, 625 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne. Tickets are $19 to $29. Call 321-723-8693 or visit Henegar.org.
“Making Spirits Bright” is the annual holiday show/fundraiser at Melbourne Civic Theatre.
The production is a variety show and stars one the area’s most charismatic stage performers, Alfie Silva. It brings on stage performers who interact with Silva and the audience. There is music, dance, celebrity impersonations and plenty of fun both on and off stage.
This year, director Peg Girard is staging the show so that a few VIP tables will be placed on stage. The tables cost $250, seat four people and include two beverages per person and bar snacks.
“The Christmas show is a fun way to get into the spirit,” Girard said. “Alfie makes every Christmas season better and ‘Making Spirits Bright’ is what MCT does best.”
“Making Spirits Bright” runs Dec. 6 to 24 at various times. Tickets are $30. MCT is at 817 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne. Call 321-723-6935 or visit MyMCT.org.
“The Nutcracker” will be performed at the King Center by the Space Coast Ballet, accompanied by the Brevard Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Christopher Confessore.
This is the production that has all the lavish Kirov-constructed sets and costumes. It is directed by Ekaterina Shchelkanova, formerly with the Kirov Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre.
It has been a long time since this fully staged and fully orchestrated production has graced the King Center. It is not to be missed.
“The Nutcracker” performs 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at the King Center, 3865 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne. Tickets start at $25. Call 321-242-2219 or visit KingCenter.com.
“The American Nutcracker” with the Galmont Ballet at Cocoa Village Playhouse, is Tchaikovsky with a down-home Americana twist.
“The American Nutcracker” runs Dec. 20 to 22 at Cocoa Village Playhouse, 300 Brevard Ave., Cocoa. Tickets are $18 to $26. Call 321-636-5050 or visit CocoaVillagePlayhouse.com.
“A Christmas Carol” is a national tour produced by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan that comes to the King Center mainstage.
It tells the classic Charles Dickens’ story of Ebeneezer Scrooge being visited by three spirits who change his wicked ways.
“A Christmas Carol” performs 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22 at the King Center, 3865 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne. Tickets start at $29.75 adults and $20 for children. Call 321-242-2219 or visit KingCenter.com.